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2 more U.S. contractors released from Iraqi custody

  • Story Highlights
  • Three of five U.S. contractors detained in Iraq last week now free
  • Sources: Five initially detained in connection with slaying of U.S. contractor
  • Iraqi judge later ordered five no longer held in connection with killing
  • Two remain in custody on charges involving "illegal substances," spokesman says
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two more U.S. contractors initially detained in connection with the slaying of a contractor in Baghdad were released from Iraqi custody on bond late Friday, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said Saturday.

In a CNN exclusive, video shows U.S. contractors taken into custody by Iraqi authorities.

In a CNN exclusive, video shows U.S. contractors taken into custody by Iraqi authorities.

Two others remain in Iraqi custody, the spokesman said. A fifth contractor was released earlier in the week, the U.S. Embassy said.

The embassy did not release the names of any of the contractors.

However, according to a spokesman for security firm Corporate Training Unlimited, the man released earlier in the week is the firm's leader, Donald Feeney. Feeney's wife, Judy, also confirmed her husband's release.

A source close to the contractors said the two released late Friday were Mark Bridges and Feeney's son Don Feeney III.

Judy Feeney had said that the younger Feeney and Bridges were to be released this week. She could not be reached for confirmation on Saturday.

The five contractors were taken into custody June 3 in a pre-dawn raid in Baghdad's Green Zone by Iraqi and U.S. personnel, a security source told CNN on June 7.

The five initially were told they were being held in connection with last month's death of another contractor, James Kitterman, according to the source close to the five.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh also said the men were detained based on information linking them to the Kitterman slaying.

But on Monday, according to a judicial source, the men were told they were being held on suspicion of having unregistered weapons.

Still, they were asked about their activities around the time Kitterman was killed, and Iraqi government officials told CNN on Monday the five were detained as suspects in connection with Kitterman's slaying.

Kitterman was found bound, blindfolded and fatally stabbed in a car in Baghdad's Green Zone -- the high-security area in central Baghdad that contains the U.S. Embassy and key Iraqi government buildings -- on May 22. The 60-year-old Houston, Texas, resident owned a construction company that operated in Iraq.

An Iraqi investigative judge ordered the release of the Feeney men and Bridges on Wednesday because of insufficient evidence on the killing.

The two still in custody, Jason Jones and Micah Milligan, were also cleared of suspicion in Kitterman's killing by the judge.

Abdul Sattar al-Beeraqdar, a spokesman for Iraq's Higher Judicial Council, said without giving names that two contractors were being held on charges involving "illegal substances" found on the men when they were taken into custody.

An Iraqi security official said the illegal substance was hashish.

Those who have been released are not allowed to leave the country because of an ongoing investigation and the judge may want to question them again, al-Beeraqdar said Thursday.

Under Iraqi law, after a person is detained, an investigative judge questions the accused and assesses the evidence. The judge then decides whether there is sufficient evidence, and either refers the case to trial or dismisses it.

Except for Jones, the contractors work for the Fayetteville, North Carolina-based CTU.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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